Piramal Healthcare buys Decision Resources Group

Indian firm pays US$635m for healthcare information business

Piramal Healthcare has agreed to buy Decision Resources Group (DRG), a US healthcare research provider, for US$635m. The deal will give the Mumbai-based firm access to the US$5.7bn global healthcare information industry.

DRG, based in Burlington, Massachusetts, US provides web-enabled research, predictive analytics via proprietary databases and consulting services to the global healthcare industry. The firm forecasts revenues of US$160m for 2012. It counts 48 of the top 50 global pharmaceutical companies as its customers. Providence Equity Partners bought majority control of DRG in 2007.

The firm has 500 staff, of whom 290 are analysts.

DRG is focused on three market segments: the Biopharma business unit provides reports, databases and advisory services on drug utilisation trends and forecasting in a variety of therapeutic areas; the Market Access business provides database and analytical services that healthcare companies use to assess the current and future opportunity of their products' acceptance into a market; and the Medical Technology business provides data on the medical device markets.

DRG‘s products include detailed market assessments based on a network of more than 125,000 healthcare professionals (primarily physicians), proprietary databases of market information and detailed analytical reports on specific therapeutic areas.

Commenting on the deal, Ajay Piramal, chairman of Piramal Healthcare said: ‘The global healthcare industry is facing several challenges including rising research costs, lower drug approval rates, mounting regulatory pressures and increasingly complex reimbursement models.

‘DRG‘s portfolio of products is widely regarded as the gold standard of information. The need for specialist information is critical and the demand is growing.’

Peter Hoenigsberg, chief executive of DRG, who will continue to lead the firm with the existing senior management team as a stand-alone business within Piramal Group after the closure of the deal at the end of June, said: ‘This is an excellent opportunity for our business, customers and employees.

‘My team and I are excited to be part of the Piramal Group and are confident that its expertise in acquiring, integrating and growing businesses will support our continued growth.’

After the sale of its healthcare solutions business to Abbott Laboratories in May 2010 for US$3.8bn, Piramal Healthcare has been acquiring pharmaceutical companies and has made investments in property and telecommunications.

Last month Piramal bought worldwide rights to the molecular imaging research and development portfolio of Bayer Pharma through its newly created subsidiary Piramal Imaging.

The portfolio includes rights to florbetaben, which is in Phase III clinical trials.

Florbetaben is a PET tracer for the detection of beta-Amyloid plaque deposition in the brain, a probable cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

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